We’ve begun a new adventure the summer: A Steampunk Emporium!
Because I had so much fun inventing Mercury’s Wings, I wanted to find a way to enjoy steampunk everyday.
Running a brick & mortar, exhibiting in the typical juried craft shows, and crafting custom pieces for customers, I found it tough to carve out some time to walk any of the ‘con’ shows. While we had a local one in Raleigh, it seemed rather cost prohibitive to just walk one without participating in any of the extra-curricular activities.
Can’t an artist just get a glimpse of the vendors market environment without having to spend 2 arms and a leg? Geez.
After much pestering and 2 years later, I found an ‘in’ to exhibit last minute at Contemporal, the SE Region’s answer to Steampunk Con. Finally!
Our methodology for creating work is when we are juried into a show and anticipate our type of customer (read: demographic, theme) then that is when we create the work. It’s just the two of us. We can’t read into the future as to what customers are going to want, so we build one of a kind (OOAK) or small quantities (read: 3) to help round out our collections.
What does this mean? We only had 6 days to craft steampunk type gear when we got the last minute invite. Plus, a piece of our equipment decided to fail on us, causing us to stop production for 2 days. OMFG. So, we punt. We re-prioritize our collection and decide how we’re going to spin the work that we have.
On the flip side, we realized we already had a tremendous amount of steampunk work embedded into our product line. For me, becoming engrossed into the Steampunk world, it isn’t about applying a drawing filled with gears and then slapping it onto every damn thing I can find. In the true sense, it’s about re-inventing a 3-dimensional item that is truly unique based on found objects and scraps of pieces remaining in the workshop to put to good use. I know this but just haven’t carved the time to do this -until now.
Steampunk for the Straights
Today, we have been delighted with strong encouragement from our customers to do more. I thought the interest would be a slow drip, but instead, it has been the inverse. I’m thrilled that I can serve the Steampunk World with my craft.
The work that we’re creating is a true collaboration with our customers -and I’m thrilled. We get requests to craft things out of the ordinary. We are trying to keep up with customer demand and admittedly, some projects are easier to do than others. All I ask is that when you suggest something, I may already have a project that can be replicated into that ‘thing’ that you request. Otherwise, it may take weeks or months before I can get to the project due to time constraints, prototyping, and other unactualized events that may occur (read: life).
Meanwhile, I am creating pieces for the Straights (those of you who don’t know what Steampunk is) or the Steamers who love it but need a quiet piece to wear to work that serves as a subtle reminder that they’re individuals.
Below, you’ll find our Steampunk Web site and I’m going the cheater’s route for a short while by posting my products on ETSY. If you have any suggestions, please send me a note thru my SteampunkStewie.com web site or convo thru ETSY -I’ll be overjoyed to hear from you.
Thanks for cruising along with us on this new and unique crafts style. I’m just heartened that I can continue creating special work for you as I evolve into new and wondrous areas.
As fellow Steamers Say: Goggles on!
Stewie (er, Lisa)